Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Is your spiritual life like a motorboat or a sailboat?

When I was very young, perhaps 10 years old, I took some sailing lessons, and then once again when I was in my early 30s. Sailing involves a kind of “romancing the wind” wherein one observes the wind as it is and then adapts to it, wooing it, learning its moves, its vicissitudes, and its […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Liturgy is More than a Text: A meditation on rediscovering a wider understanding of Sacred Liturgy

One of the greatest liturgical shifts in the last 60 years has been in the area of language and the spoken word. The almost complete disappearance of Latin is to be lamented, but the use of the vernacular has arguably produced many positive effects. The augmentation of the Scriptures used has also been notable and […] Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, They Ate Locust – A Review of Some Common Foods at the Time of Jesus

Generally speaking, the Israelites of the time of Christ were frugal eaters. Frankly, until about 100 years ago, frugality in eating was more imposed than chosen. Food was more scarce and less convenient than it is today. Its availability was seasonal and all the elements needed to be made from scratch; even water needed to […] Read the rest of this entry »

Four Fundamentals for a Favorable Future

I was privileged today to give a talk to some young people, mostly late high school and early college age. Here are some notes from the talk: I. Faith – The world in which we lives says we are great if we are rich, good looking, popular, powerful, and possess many things. But none of […] Read the rest of this entry »

Sinful Curiosity is at the Root of Many Sins

Curiosity is one of those qualities of the human person that are double-edged swords. It can cut a path to glory or it can be like a dagger of sin that cuts deep into the soul. As to its glory, it is one of  the chief ingredients in the capacity of the human person to,  as […] Read the rest of this entry »

Why would God sow seeds he knows will bear little or no fruit? A further reflection on the Parable of the Sower.

We heard the parable of the sower at yesterday’s Sunday Mass. Someone asked me the following question: “Since the sower is the Son of Man, Jesus himself, why would the Lord, who knows everything ahead of time, sow seed he knew would not bear fruit?” First, let’s review the text: “A sower went out to sow. And as […] Read the rest of this entry »

Information or Transformation – A Sermon on the Goal of the Word of God for the 15th Sunday of the Year

What do you expect from reading and hearing God’s Word? Do you expect to encounter something that will change you? Frankly, from my discussions with people over the years, many do not even understand the question and, after puzzled looks, respond to me with another question: “What do mean by ‘expect’?”  I then follow up […] Read the rest of this entry »

Get me to the Church on Time! A short meditation on Sunday morning struggles.

One thing I surely have easy as a priest is getting to Church on Sunday. All I have to do is walk down the stairs, go through the dining room and walk the passage through to the Church. And there I am. I realize that it is not as easy for most of my parishioners and […] Read the rest of this entry »

Ask for the Grace to “Tear Up the Memo”

At the bottom of this post is a video of dogs and cats who apparently never “got the memo” that they are supposed to fear and hate each other. As the video makes clear, they are bosom buddies who love to romp, play, wrestle, and even snuggle. How unlikely! And yet there it is before […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Was the Climate and Weather Of Israel Like at the Time of Jesus?

The climate in Palestine both today and at the time of Jesus has two distinct seasons. The wet or rainy season is from the middle of October to the middle of April. The dry or summer season lasts from the middle of June until the middle of September. It is quite dry in these months […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Famine of the Word of God – A Meditation on a Teaching From Amos

Last week we read from the book of the prophet Amos. And something profound yet rather subtle was taught by Amos in the selection from Friday’s Mass. After warning of many sins such as the trampling the needy, putting profit over Sabbath observances, cheating by altering scales and so forth; after also warning of sexual […] Read the rest of this entry »

No more excuses about how the flesh is weak. The spirit is eager and willing!

When it comes to the demands of the moral life, one of the tendencies of our fallen human nature is to emphasize our weakness and minimize the reality of our strength. It is surely a tendency related to the cardinal sin of sloth, wherein we experience sorrow, sadness, or aversion to the good things that […] Read the rest of this entry »